Saturday, September 10, 2016

Nehemiah-Standing Firm Against Those Who Are Against Us

By Mary Vee
Nehemiah 2

From Nehemiah's Journal



Photo Courtesy
My name is Nehemiah. I have been a servant in Babylon for a long time. I was cupbearer to the king. 

I've been in Jerusalem for a few days. No, I didn't run away from my job, my servitude in Babylon. I had permission from the king to do this job.

Anyway, I stayed up most the night walking around the city walls. I'd taken a few men whom I trusted to keep me safe and record notes. What I saw bothered me...a lot.

I called a meeting with the city officials this morning. They all came, probably out of curiosity. See, to them I may have been a brother Jew, but I was also a new comer. I hadn't lived her for the months and in the case of some, years like they had. I hadn't experienced their problems and as a result didn't have a firm grasp on why important jobs hadn't been done yet.

These official didn't need to be yelled at for not doing what God asked. They needed an understanding brother to rejuvenate their desire to rebuild. 

So I hushed them and said, "You see the trouble we are in." I waved my arms to indicate the wall. The wall that should protect us from enemies creeping in and harming us. "Our beloved city, Jerusalem, lies in ruins. The gates have been burned with fire." I gave them a moment to picture the danger.

"We should rebuild the wall of Jerusalem then we will no longer be opened to other nations wanting to harm us. This is God's city. We must protect it. Look, God protected me on my journey here in amazing ways. The king of Babylon wrote me letters, gave me officers and a calvary to protect me. God wouldn't have provided all of this if He didn't want the work done now."

The men sat quietly. They looked at the ground and spoke softly to each other. The spirit of apathy was dissolving and a new spirit of bonding, hope, brotherhood, and praise to God built. The men said, "Okay. Let's start rebuilding!"

Well, they didn't run and grab tools. A plan had to be made. A huge project like this had steps.

While we planned, apparently Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard we wanted to rebuild the walls. They came to a group of us and shook their heads. Kinda like when a bully comes to you and makes fun of your work. Yeah. Like that. They said, "What are you doing?" They laughed and spoke with a sneering  mocking voice. "Are you rebelling against the king?"

Of course we weren't. I had permission. Letters. Good grief. These men were not Jews and they didn't want the Jews to build a protective wall around Jerusalem. That was crystal clear.

Fine. They want to be ornery? I stood tall and said, "The God of heaven will give us success. We, his servants, will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historical right to it."

I'd stand firm against those who were against us no matter what it took. I'd stand strong. I wouldn't let them wear us down with their cruel words. The wall will be built...just as God wanted.



Come back next time to see what happens.
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sources: New International Version, New King James Version 
               
1. Why was Nehemiah careful with his words to the Jerusalem officials?
2. Before the men would be willing to build they walls they first had to change their ____
3. What bullies came?
4. What did they say?
5. What did Nehemiah say to them?
6. Who do you think will win? The bullies or Nehemiah?

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